Unhappy? It's Got a Name!
The inability to feel happy actually has a name. It's called "anhedonia" and though I have been a Registered Professional Nurse since 1974 I had never heard that word until recently.
My Experience with Anhedonia
I try to avoid sad stories in the paper or on the news because i have this odd ability to feel what someone is feeling as I read their words and that,in turn, affects me. You know what scares me? I was trying to think when the last time was that I felt happy and I cannot remember a time that lasted more than a day and that was over 20 years ago. I also saw just the end of a program where a physician gave a name to the inability to be happy. Anhedonia!
I have always thought that I have no right to be happy when there is so much sadness in the world. I am all too aware of starving children and the poverty and genocide that seems to only worsen. I feel I hurt for the world...for humanity and the human condition. For the violence and apathy and those who have great fortunes but do nothing with them to help. Maybe I shoulda been one of those monks that spend their lives in silence, suffering for all human sins and evil and praying or chanting obsessively. Hmmm. Doubt I could keep my big mouth shut for long. Oh well as the catchphrase of the moment says "it is what it is". Ha ha ha how pitifully naked the meaning of that one is, eh?
You know the rate of unemployment in Michigan is up to 15% ?
Well I guess all THAT has cheered you up ( stop shaking your collective heads!)
If you also have this problem, are unable to feel happy, please write a note here and let's share experiences. Now you have a name for it and know you are not alone.
Help! I Want to Enjoy Life Again
I Have a Plan!
In anhedonia things that would once make you happy bring no joy...no emotion. It is not situational depression but an abnormal feeling of emptiness and feeling lonely or feeling nothing. Feeling down without discernable cause.
I have noticed that the longer this continues, the more episodes of depression I experience. I don't think the depression is due to the anhedonia, but is just another problem I have yet to deal with successfully, even with antidepressants.
I am wondering if this change in my ability to feel good about anything plus the periods of depression could be a type of bipolar disorder? The Diagnostic Manual that physicians use, however, describes bipolar (also called manic-depressive) as periods of euphoria with periods of depression. I certainly cannot say I have any periods of euphoria. Psychology and psychiatry are so far behind other professions in furthering the knowledge, diagnostics or treatments that it would be laughable if so many are not ill served because of it. I am certain that there are many others who suffer the same as I and I wonder if the medications that help those with bipolar would help us? I spoke to my Internist the other day and we discussed this. I just started adding zyprexa to the prozac I already take. I am hoping this will prove to at least me and my Internist that there is another disorder helped by bipolar medications and perhaps someday they can reclassify bipolar to include anhedonia as a subclass or type.
Today starts my zyprexa and I will let you all know if it works. I am told if it does help, it would be fast...about a week. I am hopeful and hope those of you suffering as I do will come back here to follow my progress. Bookmark me and please feel free to comment. I am looking forward to a future where I can feel happiness once again.
Sunday May 23, 2010
This is amazing. I have been on the new medication and it works. I AM NO LONGER DEPRESSED! I always wondered why no medication ever helped me.. I now firmly believe that this is a subclass of bipolar. For years it's been a few normal days.. followed by days of a seriously deep depression. The low was so bad I had considered suicide several times. If not for my family and the pain it would cause I would have done it. To have week after week with NO depression is truly wonderful. I am still on the prozac with the new medication but together they are magic.I hope others who are in the endless circle of depression read this and at least ask their doctors to try this. Nothing to lose and I have gained back my life.Thank God!
To summarize: Zyprexa plus either prozac or zoloft or other in that class. The zyprexa is what made the difference. It is for bipolar (manic depression). It works for me so if you are always or often very depressed and it is not a situational depression but one that occurs for no reason. If you do try this and get the same results that I have, please leave me a note. I want to know if my premise that anhedonia is a subclass of bipolar is, indeed, correct. I believe it may be.